Improving Retail Digital Shopping Offerings
August 24, 2022

Rob Mason

Share this

Retailers continue to grapple with challenges wrought by the pandemic and its after effects: supply chain woes, difficulty staffing positions, surging inflation and more. And just as they had to do as a result of the pandemic, retailers continue to depend upon digital interactions to attract, maintain and retain consumers.

In fact, people around the world spent more than 100 billion hours in shopping apps in 2021, an 18% increase from 2020. While that eye-popping number is impressive enough on its own, it takes on even more significance when you consider that most of the world was locked down during the bulk of 2020. Yet even as restrictions were relaxed during 2021, people continued to turn to digital alternatives for their retail needs.

But shoppers expect a great deal from their digital retail interactions. Research shows that almost 90% of consumers will leave a trusted brand after only two unsatisfactory experiences, and 17% of consumers will abandon a purchase after just one negative experience. Moreover, half of consumers abandon apps after just one day, which not only hurts a retailer's app store rankings but also results in lost revenue.

But building strong customer relationships via digital channels is no simple task for retailers given the seemingly endless number of digital platforms, devices, payment methods and technologies available today. So how can today's retailers ensure their digital offerings overcome these challenges and attract and retain the valuable customers they desperately need?

According to The State of Digital Quality In Retail 2022, the answer is that retailers need testing strategies to ensure their digital retail experiences are seamless, easy to use, intuitive, inclusive and localized. Specifically, the report calls out a number of issues that are concerning for retailers, including:

Workflow errors are the most common flaw on retail sites

These functional errors account for almost 75% of all functional test bugs, with the overall result that consumers can't complete tasks they're attempting – things like adding things to the cart or accessing chatbots for assistance. Combating these issues requires retailers to research and develop test plans that take advantage of the valuable data they have about their customer, and those tests should be based on data from actual customers.

Accessibility has to be a primary focus and not an afterthought

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1 billion people – or about 15% of the world's population – live with some form of disability. The report shows that 72% of all accessibility bugs relate to screen readers, which means customers can't navigate or discern what's on the page. Combating these types of issues requires retailers to utilize a variety of testing approaches to ensure customers can complete tasks, and those tests should be conducted by people with disabilities to ensure digital experiences are accessible to everyone.

Localization testing is vital for expansion into new markets

Shoppers want experiences in their local languages, yet 63% of bugs are related to poor and missing translations. Addressing localization errors requires retailers to validate translations in context with in-market speakers, and to research and understand cultural nuances.

Functional errors account for 89% of payment testing bugs

And those errors mean that orders and payments didn't go through for a number of reasons, including issues with particular payment instruments, merchants or capture devices. As such, retailers must focus on ensuring the payment methods most used by customers work properly, and include functionalities like refunds, promotional offers and discounts.

There's no question that digital retail interactions will continue to grow and evolve as people increasingly turn to devices for their shopping needs. Providing high-quality digital experiences is vital for retailers that want to attract and retain customers and protect their brand's reputation. By conducting comprehensive testing, retailers can identify ways to improve digital quality, and ensure better shopping experiences that are accessible to all.

Rob Mason is CTO of Applause
Share this

The Latest

October 03, 2022

IT engineers and executives are responsible for system reliability and availability. The volume of data can make it hard to be proactive and fix issues quickly. With over a decade of experience in the field, I know the importance of IT operations analytics and how it can help identify incidents and enable agile responses ...

September 30, 2022

For businesses with vast and distributed computing infrastructures, one of the main objectives of IT and network operations is to locate the cause of a service condition that is having an impact. The more human resources are put into the task of gathering, processing, and finally visual monitoring the massive volumes of event and log data that serve as the main source of symptomatic indications for emerging crises, the closer the service is to the company's source of revenue ...

September 29, 2022

Our digital economy is intolerant of downtime. But consumers haven't just come to expect always-on digital apps and services. They also expect continuous innovation, new functionality and lightening fast response times. Organizations have taken note, investing heavily in teams and tools that supposedly increase uptime and free resources for innovation. But leaders have not realized this "throw money at the problem" approach to monitoring is burning through resources without much improvement in availability outcomes ...

September 28, 2022

Although 83% of businesses are concerned about a recession in 2023, B2B tech marketers can look forward to growth — 51% of organizations plan to increase IT budgets in 2023 vs. a narrow 6% that plan to reduce their spend, according to the 2023 State of IT report from Spiceworks Ziff Davis ...

September 27, 2022

Users have high expectations around applications — quick loading times, look and feel visually advanced, with feature-rich content, video streaming, and multimedia capabilities — all of these devour network bandwidth. With millions of users accessing applications and mobile apps from multiple devices, most companies today generate seemingly unmanageable volumes of data and traffic on their networks ...

September 26, 2022

In Italy, it is customary to treat wine as part of the meal ... Too often, testing is treated with the same reverence as the post-meal task of loading the dishwasher, when it should be treated like an elegant wine pairing ...

September 23, 2022

In order to properly sort through all monitoring noise and identify true problems, their causes, and to prioritize them for response by the IT team, they have created and built a revolutionary new system using a meta-cognitive model ...

September 22, 2022

As we shift further into a digital-first world, where having a reliable online experience becomes more essential, Site Reliability Engineers remain in-demand among organizations of all sizes ... This diverse set of skills and values can be difficult to interview for. In this blog, we'll get you started with some example questions and processes to find your ideal SRE ...

September 21, 2022

US government agencies are bringing more of their employees back into the office and implementing hybrid work schedules, but federal workers are worried that their agencies' IT architectures aren't built to handle the "new normal." They fear that the reactive, manual methods used by the current systems in dealing with user, IT architecture and application problems will degrade the user experience and negatively affect productivity. In fact, according to a recent survey, many federal employees are concerned that they won't work as effectively back in the office as they did at home ...

September 20, 2022

Users today expect a seamless, uninterrupted experience when interacting with their web and mobile apps. Their expectations have continued to grow in tandem with their appetite for new features and consistent updates. Mobile apps have responded by increasing their release cadence by up to 40%, releasing a new full version of their app every 4-5 days, as determined in this year's SmartBear State of Software Quality | Application Stability Index report ...